Restrictions on B.C. log exports don’t make a lot of sense

Thoughts from Peter Pearse, retired UBC Resource Economist

Exporting raw logs remains highly controversial in B.C. because of the forest industry’s economic importance and because most of our vast forests are public property. The policy also perversely undermines the value of our precious forest resources. The often confusing debate usually centres on jobs. …Often forgotten in this debate are the restrictions on exporting logs that our federal and provincial governments now have in place. …The second important feature is that provincial export permits require recipients to pay a hefty tax on the timber they export. …Restrictions constrain the demand for our logs, depress their domestic market price and hence also the quantity produced. So the direct beneficiaries are the local buyers. …But, for the same reason, those involved in producing logs suffer from the reduced production and value of their product. …stumpage revenues are reduced accordingly, shifting the ultimate burden of log export restrictions onto us, the hapless taxpayers.

The Province
January 19, 2019

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